Historically, the law could bar an injured person from recovering damages if they contributed to their injury in any way. Although this complete bar has generally been abolished, many states, including Wisconsin, still considers contributory negligence when determining liability of an accident. Contributory and comparative negligence can limit the damages you would receive. Due to the complicated nature of the facts of a case, having an experienced Kenosha car accident attorney can help you understand what damages may be available to you after your car accident
The Fundamentals of Contributory and Comparative Negligence
Wisconsin law allows a plaintiff to recover monetary damages. However, this recovery comes with a caveat. A plaintiff may recover monetary damages from a defendant only if the plaintiff’s responsibility is considered less of the cause of the accident than the defendant’s negligent behavior.
At the core of a car accident lawsuit is the concept of negligence. Negligence is generally the failure of a person to behave or act in a reasonable manner in order to prevent an incident. In comparison, contributory negligence is the failure of the injured party to likewise behave or act in a reasonable manner to prevent an incident. This means that liability and responsibility for an incident does not necessarily fall to just one party in a Kenosha car accident.
Recovering Monetary Damages If You Are Partially Responsible for a Car Accident
The best way to explain contributory negligence is an example. Used as a defense by the defendant, generally, contributory negligence will mean that a percentage of fault is assigned to the plaintiff. This would reduce the liability of the defendant. And therefore, reduce the amount of allowable recovery.
For example, assume a two-car accident in Kenosha. Driver A just stopped for a fast food breakfast sandwich when they received a phone call. Driver B is driving very fast and breaking the speed limit by driving at 35 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour speed limit zone. Driver A turns left very slowly as they receive a phone call. When they enter the same road that Driver B is traveling. However, because they are trying to talk to their father while eating their sandwich, Driver A does not see driver B. Driver B’s excessive speed causes them to not be able to stop in time and unfortunately, they hit Driver A.
Determining who is fault is very difficult. But it determines the amount of monetary damages available to Driver A. When you consult with a Kenosha car accident attorney, they will investigate all of the facts of your case and will work to discover all of the facts of the case.
Based on all of the facts of the case, let’s assume that it is determined that Driver A is 45% responsible for the accident because they were distracted. This can mean that after the full value of damages is determined, Driver A may recover 55% of the monetary damages.
Of course, not all cases involve complicated math equations and breakfast sandwiches, but they all do involve many factors. Understanding and having an experienced Kenosha car accident attorney like the attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. can help you recover the maximum damages available to you. With over 35 years of experience, we will ensure that all of the circumstances of your car accident maximize your verdict and result.
Contacting Experienced Attorneys for Help Calculating Contributory or Comparative Fault
Because the rules of liability can be confusing and can depend on many factors, you should consult with a qualified personal injury attorney like the lawyers at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. We will help you better understand the process that will achieve the most just settlement for you. Contact us today for a free consultation